As cities across the globe are preparing for the new H1N1 Swine flu, it appears the incidence of new infections is slowing down and the virulence (severity) has not increased.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the number of confirmed cases in the United States is 109 with one death.
The largest cluster (50 confirmed) is in New York City where it rapidly spread through a NYC high school. Forty-four of the NYC confirmed cases are from this high school which was temporarily closed on Monday, April 27. Five of the students had traveled outside the U.S. the week before, although none had visited Mexico, California or Texas. All of the confirmed cases were mild.
To date, this New York school-based outbreak is the largest cluster of swine flu cases reported in the United States . The findings from this investigation indicate that symptoms appear to be similar to those of seasonal influenza . Additional assessment of the extent of illness in NYC is ongoing.
The recommendations from the CDC for avoiding flu have not changed. Fortunately, they are simple:
1. Wash your hands frequently
2. Cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze and toss the tissue immediately.
3. Avoid contact with anyone who is coughing or sick
4. Stay home if you are sick